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East Lancashire horse rider thrown as cyclist spooks her horse
2:00pm Friday 7th September 2012 in News
A RIDER was thrown from her horse when a cyclist came hurtling towards them down a quiet country lane, terrifying the animal.
Experienced rider Heather Blunt, of York Crescent, Wilpshire, was on a hack near Whalley, when her bay horse Pedro was spooked by the oncoming bicycle.
Mrs Blunt was riding in Moor Lane, popular with horse riders due to its quiet surroundings.
She fell from the 11-year-old horse, which she has been riding since November last year, landing on her head and blacking out.
She said: “We were approaching a bend and a pedal cyclist came towards me on my side of the road. My horse turned round and I fell off and that is all I can remember.”
The incident happened at around 1pm on Tuesday, and Mrs Blunt said she remembered being helped by a man and a woman in a car, but she was very groggy.
She said: “They helped me find Pedro about a mile-and-a-half away near the Lord Nelson pub. I got back on and rode him back to the stables at Snodworth Farm.
“I would say people do need to take more care around horses. Anybody who knows the rules of the road would not be on the wrong side in an area that is full of horses. I would like to see a reduction in the speed limits round here and some signs that clearly indicate horses.”
Welfare officer David McCormick, from the Horse and Pony Protection Association, based in Briercliffe, said incidents like these happened fairly frequently.
He said: “Bicycles are so quiet. You don’t know until they are right on top of you, and horses don’t see them until the last possible minute either. It is about having respect for the road and being aware that you are not the only one using it.”
Carol Richardson, who runs Panama Sport Horses, said: “I had a really bad accident in April. I was in our sand paddock and a cyclist did a wheel spin in the gravel just outside.
“The horse spooked and knocked me unconscious and I had to have 50 stitches and be taken by air ambulance to hospital. Sgt Peter Moore, of Clitheroe Police, said: “We would ask the cyclist, or anybody who saw what happened, to contact police on 101.”
In April this year, a white van driver was jailed for ramming a horse in a “road rage” attack in Baxenden.
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